Well, I’m at home again in between the end of my school term and my summer adventures in Peru, so of course I had to bake something. My grandparents were coming over for dinner, so I scanned the internet for something extraordinary to show off. I looked high and low, but just could not stop coming back to this delectable looking chocolate peanut butter creation. Paired with beer butt chicken, this delicious bread, yummy potatoes, salad, and fruit for dinner, let’s just say we ate well that night.
Overall, this torte is fantastic! Peanut butter and chocolate are always a classic pairing (for good reason- they’re delicious)! It may be artery clogging to the max, but your taste buds with thank you. The filling is a lovely cream cheese/peanut butter mixture lightened up with a bit of whipped cream, with bits of crunch, on an oreo crust, topped with chocolate ganache and more peanuts. What’s not to love? I really like how it doesn’t taste overpoweringly sweet, it’s very decadent, but the sugar doesn’t clobber you over the head.
One thing- this recipe piles on the filling quite high. If you want to go for a more modest dessert, consider decreasing the filling quantity by a third. Or continue on with reckless abandon just be ready to pile it high!
I made a few modifications to the original recipe. For one, I didn’t have espresso powder, so I put in some cocoa powder instead, figuring it was a bit of a bitter flavour. Would probably be better with espresso, but cocoa didn’t hurt! I also chopped up some regular chocolate chips because I didn’t feel like buying miniature ones. Instead of whole milk I used 1%, and it worked fine- less fat anyway! For the ganache, I ended up using milk chocolate, which is a bit sweeter than desired; an easy fix for this was to mix in a bit of cocoa powder, it balances out the sweet and you get a bit of a darker chocolate taste!
For the crust:
- 32 Oreo cookies, finely processed into crumbs (use a food processor, or put some oreos in a ziplock back and pound with a blunt object)
- 5 1/3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt
For the crunch:
- ½ cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
- ½ cup small chocolate chunks (Mini chocolate chips, or another kind of chocolate, chopped into small bits)
- 2 tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. espresso powder (cocoa powder can be substituted)
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Dash of ground nutmeg
For the filling:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1½ cups creamy peanut butter (not natural)
- 2 tbsp. whole milk (any other kind of milk can be substituted)
- ¼ cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
For the ganache:
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup salted peanuts, finely chopped
- To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan (or regular pie pan, you just will have to serve it straight from the pan) and place it on a baking sheet. Combine the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the pan. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling.
- To make the crunch, in another small bowl combine ½ cup of the chopped peanuts, mini chocolate chips, sugar, espresso (or cocoa) powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss with a fork to mix and set aside.
- To prepare the filling whip 2 cups of the cream until it holds medium peaks. Beat in ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar and whip until the cream holds medium-firm peaks. Scrape the cream into a separate bowl and refrigerate until needed,
- Wipe out (do not wash) the bowl and beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until the cream cheese is satiny smooth. Beat in the peanut butter, whole milk, and ¼ cup of the chopped peanuts until well combined.
- Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir in about 1/4 of the whipped cream just to lighten the mousse. Still working with the spatula, stir in the crunchy peanut mixture, then gingerly fold in the remaining whipped cream. Scrape the mousse into the crust, mounding and smoothing the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight; cover with plastic wrap as soon as the mousse firms.
- To finish the torte, put the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave the bowl over the water just until the chocolate softens and starts to melt, about 3 minutes; remove the bowl from the saucepan. Bring the ½ cup of cream to a full boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and, working with a rubber spatula, very gently stir together until the ganache is completely blended and smooth.
- Pour the ganache over the torte, smoothing with a metal icing spatula. Scatter the peanuts over the top and chill to set the topping, at least 20 minutes. When the ganache is firm, remove the sides of the springform pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
There you go! Fantastically delicious- just be sure to slice it extremely thin. You won’t be able to handle a lot at a time.